NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The weather’s getting warmer and we’re closing in on Memorial Day — the unofficial start of the summer season.

If you’re like most people, some good old exercise is what you think of when it comes to getting healthy after a long winter. Even a regular runner like Michael Holtzman is looking forward to it.

“I like to be outdoors,” he tells CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez, “so I’m anxious to get in shape for summer season.”

In fact, much of what you should do to re-set your health are things you’ve heard before — but the director of the Tisch Center for Men’s Health says we should also re-set the way we think about health.

“I want them to focus on wellness,” Dr. Steven Lamm says. “Wellness is not the absence of illness. Wellness is under your control.”

Dr. Lamm suggested four main areas for wellness; sleep, exercise, stress management, and diet.

With sleep, he says at least seven hours a night is essential.

When exercising, it’s important to go slow. You can’t make up for months — or even years — of inactivity in a few days.

Even harder to do is stress management, since stress releases all sorts of chemicals that harm health.

Finally, diet — something Holtzman says sugar is his weakness. He’s actively trying to cut down on it by using a bit less in his coffee.

The key to changing bad diet habits is to go slow — cutting out sugar or salt cold turkey is too radical. Rather, it’s best to decrease little by little at a time.

“Before you know it, your taste buds are gonna find these new choices quite acceptable,” Dr. Lamm said.

Holtzman echoes that sentiment.

“Now anything that’s overly salty or if I put too much salt in, it hits you like a shock wave,” he said.

A helpful tip to make a permanent change in your health habits is to make one small change and do it every day for 30 days — that’s when it starts to become ingrained.

Better yet, commit to that small change for 60 or 90 days and it will become permanent.

More From CBS New York

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Watch & Listen LIVE